The Complete Golf Warm Up Routine: 10 Exercises For Golfers

As with any sport, there are a variety of fundamental elements that lead to success and optimal performance. We not only need to think of playing the game itself but the other pieces of the puzzle that allow us to play at our best such as good nutrition, adequate sleep, and technical drills

Some steps are often skipped because of a lack of time or because they may not seem as if they are crucial parts of the process, such as what we will focus on today, the golf warm-up routine.

A pre-round dynamic stretching regimen will benefit you, your body, and your game to ensure you play at your very best.

In this guide, we will get into the nitty-gritty of why a golf warm up routine is so important and give you 10 dynamic stretches you can add to your pre-round routine. 

More specifically, we will discuss

  • Benefits of A Golf Warm Up Routine
  • Dynamic Versus Static Stretching 
  • 10 Pre-Round Stretches For Your Complete Golf Warm Up Routine (complete with step-by-step instructions and videos)


Let’s jump in! 

An overhead reverse lunge exercise.

Benefits of A Golf Warm Up Routine

Have you even begun your round and felt stiff and like you couldn’t connect well during the first few holes? 

Your body and mind don’t like jumping into a new activity but want to be eased into it. 

If you warm up before you begin your game, you will avoid this uncomfortable feeling and clumsy start to the round.

Before we get into our golf warm up routine, let’s take a quick peek at some of the great benefits of a dynamic warm up, and pre-round golf stretches. 

A golf warm up routine can:

  • Jumpstart your nervous system allowing you to connect more fluidly during your first shots (and all those that follow).
  • Improve your coordination to connect with more precision.
  • Increase your range of motion by loosening up muscles and joints.
  • Reduce muscle stiffness to be able to move with ease. 

Now, if that isn’t a reason to take a bit of time to warm up, I wonder what else would convince you!

A person kneeling down, arms held up ready to perform a mobility exercise.

Dynamic Verses Static Stretching

In our golf warm up routine, you will see that each and every exercise involves movement. We will not be holding a stretch for a prolonged period but actively warming up our muscles and joints

Therefore, we will focus on dynamic exercises compared to static stretching for today’s purposes. To be clear about the differences between each, let’s just run through the basics: 

Dynamic stretching involves active movement to warm up the muscles, joints, and connective tissues. 

In contrast, static stretching is holding a specific position for a prolonged period. It is often used after you have completed your game or workout when the body is already warmed up.

The dynamic stretches you choose to do before a workout should be functional to the specific sport or type of exercise that you will perform, whether it be playing soccer, weightlifting, or in our case, golfing.

Depending on the sport, the movements should imitate similar motions made during the specific sport and warm up those particular muscle groups used. 

Our dynamic stretches will focus on muscles, joints, and movements used in golf, such as our glutes, hamstrings, chest, back, shoulders, wrists, and forearms.

Ready to warm up? Let’s get to it! 

10 Pre-Round Stretches For Your Complete Golf Warm Up Routine

You will need 5 to 10 minutes to perform these dynamic stretches so that those first swings will feel great from the get-go.

#1: Reverse Lunges With Rotation 

This exercise in our golf warmup routine will warm up your glutes, legs, core, and upper body. You’ll feel a great stretch throughout your hips and obliques as well. 

  1. Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, chest up, shoulders back, and looking straight ahead.
  2. Take a big step backward with your left foot, placing the ball of your foot on the floor behind you. 
  3. As you take this step, bend both knees until they reach 90 degrees. Your left knee will be just above the ground, and your right thigh will be parallel to the floor. 
  4. As you step backward, engage your core, lift your arms above your head, elbows at your ears, and rotate your torso to your left.
  5. Rotate back to the center and return to your starting position.
  6. Alternate sides. 
  7. Repeat for 8 reps.

#2: Dynamic Hip Flexor Stretch 

Now, let’s loosen up those hip flexors.

  1. Start in a lunge position with your right leg in front of you at 90 degrees and your left knee on the ground directly underneath you, also bent at 90 degrees. 
  2. Engage your core, keep your back straight, and your hands on your hips.
  3. Shift your body forward, pushing your right knee further out in front of you.
  4. Hold this position for a couple of seconds. 
  5. Bring yourself back to your starting position.
  6. Repeat for 8-12 reps. 
  7. Repeat on the other side.

#3: Wrist Extension and Flexion

This movement will warm up your wrists while stretching out your forearms at the same time. 

  1. Extend your left arm out in front of you. 
  2. Pull back your left fingers toward your body and hold for a couple of seconds with your right hand. 
  3. Then, push your left fingers away from you until you feel a stretch on the top of your forearm. Hold for a couple of seconds. 
  4. Repeat for 8-12 reps. 
  5. Repeat on the other side. 

#4: Seated Glute Figure-Four Stretch 

For this stretch, you can find a bench or perform it from a standing position if you do not have access to a place to sit down. You’ll feel this stretch in your glutes and IT bands.

  1. Sit up straight in a chair or on a bench. 
  2. Take your right leg, bend it at 90 degrees, and place your right ankle on your left quad, just above your knee. 
  3. Place your right hand on your right knee and slightly push down. 
  4. As you keep your back straight, lean forward, hold for 2 seconds, and return to your starting position.
  5. Repeat for 8-12 reps. 
  6. Repeat on the other side.

Now, let’s improve the range of motion in your shoulders for that swing! 

#5: Shoulder Blade Squeezes + Wall Slide 

  1. Kneel on the floor with your back straight and chest proud. 
  2. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees, open your chest, and place your elbows at your sides at shoulder height. 
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. 
  4. Now, in a controlled movement, bring your arms up overhead. Hold this position for a couple of seconds. 
  5. Slowly bring your arms back to their starting position, always keeping your shoulder blades squeezed tightly together. 
  6. Repeat for 8-12 reps.

#6: Shoulder Behind-The-Back Rotation

  1. Stand tall with your shoulders back and arms by your side. 
  2. Lift your right arm overhead, bending your elbow and left arm behind your back, bending your elbow. Bring your fingertips as close together as possible behind your back. 
  3. Switch sides by lifting your left arm overhead, bending your elbow and right arm behind your back, bending your elbow again, and trying to bring your hands together in the middle of your back.
  4. Repeat for 8-12 reps. 

#7: Windmill 

With this dynamic exercise in our golf warm up routine, you will warm up your hamstrings and your upper body at the same time. 

  1. Stand tall with your feet wider than hip-width apart and your arms extended out by your sides at shoulder height. 
  2. Bend at the waist and touch your right hand to your left foot. 
  3. Return back to your initial position. 
  4. Bend at the waist and touch your left hand to your right foot. 
  5. Repeat for 8-12 reps. 

#8: Leg Swings Front to Back 

Let’s loosen up those hips and continue to stimulate blood flow with some leg swings. First front to back:

  1. Stand on your right leg, swing your left leg back and forth. 
  2. If you need help balancing, you can hold on to something for support, such as your golf club.
  3. Repeat for 8-12 reps
  4. Switch sides and repeat.

#9: Leg Swings Side to Side 

And now, side to side:

  1. Stand on your right leg.
  2. Position your left leg, so it is slightly in front of you. 
  3. Swing your left leg from side to side.
  4. If you need help balancing, you can hold onto something for support, such as your golf club.
  5. Repeat for 8-12 reps
  6. Switch sides and repeat.

#10: Ankle Circles 

Ankle circles can be done just about anywhere or in any position. They can be done while standing, balancing on one foot, or seated comfortably in a chair.

  1. From a standing position, lift your right leg in front of you and extend your knee. 
  2. Make circles with your right foot toward the left and repeat 8-12 times. 
  3. Then draw circles toward the right and repeat 8-12 times. 
  4. Bring your right foot back onto the floor.
  5. Lift your left leg and repeat on the other ankle, making circles in both directions.

There you have it! Your very own golf warm up routine for your next big game. 

If you are looking to gain strength to improve your game, check out our article: The 8 Best Golf Exercises: Complete Workout For Golfers.

A hip flexor stretch.
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Katelyn is an experienced ultra-marathoner and outdoor enthusiast passionate about fitness, sports, and healthy living. As a coach, she loves sharing her knowledge and experience with others and greatly desires to motivate people to get fit, become better athletes, and enjoy every minute of the process!

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